Most of the talk before and after the QPR v Chelsea match was in relation to a handshake, or lack of one, but concentrating on the football, what can Roberto Di Matteo do to pick up his side following a disappointing display?
Here’s a few things Di Matteo should have a look at:
1. Square pegs in round holes
Despite our summer spending Di Matteo has consistently played players out of position, especially in attacking areas, and I cannot explain it. You don’t need to take any UEFA coaching badges to realise there’s no real need to play a left-back (Ryan Bertrand) or a central midfielder (Ramires) on the wing when you possess players that are more comfortable in the wider positions on the bench.
Hopefully someone like Victor Moses gets the nod against Juventus as he looked a handful against QPR when he came on, unlike Ramires who looks out-of-sorts and either needs a rest or played in the pivot alongside John Obi Mikel.
2. Being Frank
One player that does not look comfortable in the current formation is Frank Lampard, who persistently abandons his position in central midfield to join the attack and effectively leaves Mikel to do a two-man job when it comes to defensive duties.
In the midfield pivot it isn’t his job to do this, but to move the ball quickly to our playmakers Juan Mata/Eden Hazard, but their threat is greatly reduced when Lampard runs into the space between the lines and brings a marker with him. He cannot continue to roll it sideways to Mikel before making a beeline for goal, it’s slowing down our forward play and if he doesn’t adapt then Di Matteo may have to give someone else the opportunity there…Oscar? Ramires?
3. The Torres issue
Since Didier Drogba left Chelsea Fernando Torres has been given everything he wanted; the backing of the manager, the patience of the fans, the role of our main centre forward and he’s virtually unchallenged in the position as Daniel Sturridge has barely made it onto the pitch this season, so why did he snub Di Matteo and storm down the tunnel after being substituted in the latter stages of the match? He didn’t even stick around to watch his team-mates who were still trying to win the game.
Everyone wants to see Torres do well, but it’s a worry when your £50 million forward has only found the net nine times in 50 Premier League appearances for the Blues. He has been unlucky at times and hasn’t always had the service, but that excuse is starting to wear thin when we have the likes of Hazard and Mata around. Is it wrong that there’s no competition for his place?
What do you think Di Matteo should do to improve the team’s performances going forward? He needs to start putting round pegs in round holes which will give us a better shape and benefit everyone, including an out-of-sorts Torres who we’re relying on to finally come good.